Stansbury Island

Tooele/Grantsville, Utah
The Great Salt Lake

Starting Elevation 4,200'
Castle Rock 6,620'
Plug Peak 4,625'

I've looked everywhere for some information about Castle Rock, the tallest peak on Stansbury Island (6,620'), but there seemed to be nothing available. So I just made my own maps and headed out to ol' Stansbury Island to bag the high point and get some pictures of Antelope Island and the surrounding areas at sunset. I thought the east side of the island would make the best approach, but it was gated, so we tried plan B from the west side, but then saw that it was gated as well. At this point, I started feeling like the area was being surveiled by some cackling Dr. Evil, hidden in some underground bunker somewhere. Enjoying our tribulations.

After talking to some Mexicans that were going in and out of the gate, I scrapped the plan of getting to the high point, and just decided to go to the highest point I could find without trespassing. We just followed a ridge up to the spine of the island. From there the views were outstanding. The only real difference between the views we had and the views we would have had, was the view of Lone Peak to the southeast, and whatever was north of us.

The hike was pretty difficult, even though it was probably less than 2 miles each way. You might not want to try this unless you are confident with hikes that require hands most of the time. Going down was even more difficult and dangerous, this had to have been one of the worst cases of rock slide potential that I've hiked on. It also stunk like hell, I guess years of pumping pioneer poop into the lake has it's consequences. As nightfall fell over us, we saw a car waiting by the gate for an exaggerant amount of time. I kept picturing a couple of pipe swinging goons below, waiting to work us over for thinking that we could just drive up and hike on Stansbury Island without their bosses permission. But they were just waiting for someone to let them in.

To get there: Take I-15 going west toward Wendover, get off at exit 84 and follow the signs to Stansbury Island.

Sunday, October 12, 2003

From I-15 looking west toward Stansbury Island. We hiked the square peak on the left.
Castle Rock is the highest point.

Driving north toward Stansbury Island.
The white sand on either side of the road is salt.
The high point you can see from here is the peak we climbed.
From here you can see most of the Stansbury Island Bike Trail which starts on the left.

I think you can drive up to the ridge by where we were from this road.
The point in the middle is where we ended up.
This cuts right in the middle of the bike trail.

This is the peak we climbed, most of the route we took is visible from here.

From the beginning of the slabs section looking west.
Notice how we are following the line, on the other side is trespassing.

From our summit looking north toward Castle Rock.

Looking east toward Salt Lake City.
Red Butte and Big Beacon tower are visible on the left.
Emigration Ridge is visible on the right.

An orthographic view of Mount Olympus.
Behind: Gobblers Knob, Mount Raymond, Wildcat Ridge, Kessler Peak.

Looking over the pollution system of Kennecott Copper Mine
toward Broads Fork Twin Peaks.
You can clearly see Storm Mountain to the left,
with Ferguson Canyon and Big Cottonwood Canyon on either side.
Monte Cristo Peak, Dromedary and Sunrise Peak are all visible.
Hidden Peak and American Fork Twin Peaks are visible to the right.

Looking northeast over the Great Salt Lake toward
Willard Peak 9,764' Ben Lomond 9,712 and Chilly Peak 8,600'.

Looking northeast over the Great Salt Lake and Antelope Island toward
Mount Ogden 9,572', De Moisy Peak 9,369' and Strawberry Peak 9,265'.

Looking east toward Frary Peak 6,596' on Antelope Island
Behind are the Ogden Mountains and Francis Mountain.

To the east behind the Oquirrh Mountains sit Red Baldy,
White Baldy, Thunder Mountain and Lone Peak.
Little Cottonwood Canyon and Bells Canyon are visible.

Farnsworth Peak in the Oquirrh Mountains.

Flat Top Mountain (10,620') and Lewiston Peak (10,411) in the Oquirrh Range.
In the foreground is Sharp Mountain. Below is Tooele.

Looking south to the Morton Salt Factory.

Most of the Oquirrh Mountain Range.

Looking west over the Lakeside Mountains.
In the far right you can see a Magcorp smokestack pumping "something" into the air
that drifts all the way down the mountain range.
Below is Stansbury Basin which is almost dry from this years drought.

Looking south to Deseret Peak (left peak) the highest in the Stansbury Range.

Looking west to a huge pile of salt.

Looking west over the solar evaporators used to extract salt from the lake.

Looking west. Look at the smoke that has drifted over the range
from the smokestack to the north.
MagCorp is one of the biggest pollutors in America.

Looking west over the salt solar evaporators.

Looking southwest over the evaporators.
On the left is the end of the Stansbury Mountain Range.
Some people say that Stansbury Island is a continuation of the Stansbury Mountain Range.
It's not.

The sun needs to hit the clouds at just the right angle to create a blood red sky.

Looking northwest over Stansbury Basin as the sunlight fades away.

Cloud wisps of death, floating like a spidery blanket over the Lakeside Mountains.
There's rumors that when birds fly into this, they drop dead.

For a story about the land owners: John, Mark, and Craig Bleazard

For some shots from a small plane of this island:
There is a mistake on the image:
"124-31: Stansbury Island on southwest side of Great Salt Lake, UT."
The Oquirrh Mountains are in the background.

Thanks to Gloria


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